When reviewing video games, I’m usually that asshole who complains when a video game is trying too hard to be a movie. With Yakuza: Like a Dragon, I find myself missing when Yakuza games used to be more like movies. Like a Dragon feels over-narrated. Stuff that would usually be left up to audience interpretation is laid completely bare, with no mysterious stone left unturned. Previous Yakuza games were filled with long camera pans that were filled with anticipation and longing. I found myself grasping for the words that were unspoken, the quiet glances that were exchanged, the unspoken power dynamics that undergird every interaction between the characters. Like a Dragon can't stop providing exposition for every nefarious plot, and it kills the dramatic tension that I usually find in this series.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/m7aenn/yakuza-like-a-dragon-review